Needless to say, living a long, happy life depends largely on your personal lifestyle choices. Everything from what you eat to how much you exercise to the speed at which you walk affects your lifespan in major ways. But according to an extraordinary new assessment by the The US Burden of Disease Collaborators, so does where you live.
The study analyzed 333 causes and 84 risk factors of mortality from 1990 to 2016 to provide the first-ever assessment of patterns of health in America state by state. Fortunately, the overall death rate in the US has declined, going from 745.2 per 100,00 people in 1990 to 578.0 in 2016. The highest life expectancy went to Hawaii, which clocked in at 81.3 years. The lowest went to Mississippi, where the life expectancy was only 74.7 years.
The life expectancy of every state was assessed in order to inform national health priorities for research, clinical care, and policy. But they are also useful to keep in mind, especially if you’re either retired or self-employed and therefore have the freedom to live anywhere you want. So read on to find out which states in America have the highest life expectancies. And if you want to get even more specific, check out the 50 Cities in America Where People Live the Longest.
Washington, where the average life expectancy is 80.2 years, is consistently ranked as one of the most environmentally friendly states in America. It’s also got three national parks within state boundaries for people who love to hike. And research has shown that it’s possible to walk your way to a longer life.
The divorce rate in New Jersey is one of the lower in the countries, which is probably how they make it to 80.2 years. For more studies on marriage and longevity, check out How Getting Divorced Can Shorten Your Life.
Colorado has been ranked the fifth most active state in the country, and the Rocky Mountains provide a stunning landscape in which to hike, ski, or go camping. And regular exercise is one of the most guaranteed pathways to a long, healthy life. No wonder the life expectancy here is 80.2 years.
The Affordable Care Act was modeled on this state’s universal health care, which will remain in place even if Obamacare is repealed. And access to good healthcare is one of the deciding factors of longevity, which is why Massachusetts clocks in at 80.4 years.
It’s no secret that New Yorkers watch what they eat, which might be the key to how they make it to 80.5 years. After all, science has found evidence to suggest that counting calories keeps you young.
Research has identified positivity as one of the four personality traits that are guaranteed to extend your life. And we all know Minnesotians are a cheerful bunch, which is probably part of what makes their average life expectancy 80.8 years. Minnesota got special mention in the assessment for outranking every state and the District of Columbia for average length of healthy life expectancy at 70.3 years.
Connecticut, where the life expectancy is 80.8 years, is the richest state in America, and wealthy people do tend to live longer. But as Warren Buffet recently warned people, it’s important to remember that money does not equal happiness.
California is the closest in America that you can get to Sardinia, where people regularly live over the age of 90. With an average life expectancy of 80.9 years, Californians aren’t too far behind, though, probably because they follow the same rules for longevity.
Yes, it’s a paradise, so it’s no wonder that Hawaiians make it to the ripe old age of 81.3. But you don’t have to live on a beach on one of the smaller islands to enjoy its benefits. After all, Honolulu recently ranked as number one in waste removal, air pollution, infectious diseases, and water quality in a study on the best places to live abroad.
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